In this post, I will share the background information of a NPC that I have used on the Kaye campaign. The NPC was based on the life of Lampião, an outlaw who terrorized the Brazilian Northeast in the 1920s and 1930s.
Lampião was the leader of an outlaw group called the Cangaceiros. His group was responsible for several atrocities including murder, kidnap, grave robbery, pillaging of churches, black market trade, and many other evil acts. Under Lampião's leadership, the Cangaceiros were able to buy or coerce locals to provide them with a safe haven from the many parties that were constantly on the lookout for them.
But Lampião did not start his life as an outlaw. He was the son of a wealthy farmer who was cowardly murdered by a rival family. Lampião joined the Cangaceiros at first to seek revenge, and later as the group's leader once the old one decided to retire.
Lampião was also known for the many books he read and even for the songs and poems that he wrote. One of his most famous songs, the weaving woman, brought him fame in a lot of villages. He was known to dabble in magic, collecting and experimenting with artifacts.
But Lampião's luck ran out when one of his own man decided to turn him in. Early one morning, the Cangaceiros were quietly surrounded by a large militia. Eight of them were killed in the first few moments of combat, the rest fled for their lives while Lampião himself was captured.
Bound and gagged, Lampião was taken to a large manor for the viewing pleasure of some very powerful people. All of the groups' belongings were brought with him including an artifact that was rumored to allow a man to turn into a Lich. That artifact was the one that had the most value and was displayed alongside Lampião.
Lampião's display was a popular event, with many people coming from far away to participate in it. The guests were happy with the sights but also wanted a spectacle. Lampião, always the conniving thief, was eager to oblige them. He asked to have his gag removed and told the guests all that he knew about the artifact being displayed with him. He was also willing to participate and direct the painful ceremony that was necessary to activate it.
The guests became excited by Lampião's proposal, but they doubted he could activate such a complicated magical device on his own. But the prospect of watching as someone deliberately placed himself though such an awful ordeal tugged at everyone's curiosity.
The authorities agreed to the proposal, so Lampião instructed them in the exact manner in which the ceremony was to be performed. Its final act involved cutting out his heart out and placing it still beating inside a phylactery.
The crowd cheered as Lampião's heart was severed from his body, and at the moment it was placed in the phylactery, they went into a magical ecstasy. Everyone attending the event started to chant words of power creating a potent incantation. While that was going on, Lampião's heart disappeared and he awakened as a Lich.
Everyone in the crowd was exhausted, having spent themselves to bring about such a large incantation. Using that distraction, Lampião was able to free himself and start his killing spree in the house. He killed most everyone in the main room without a second thought. The exception were those that bowed and worshiped him as a deity. Lampião eventually cleared the entire house and started a cult with those that had been mesmerized by his new power.
In time, Lampião's cult became larger and much deadlier than his outlaw group ever was. This cult spread his legacy in this generation by actively taking place in all sorts of evil acts and in the next by kidnapping and teaching young children all about the undying outlaw.